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Young man holding bundles of US dollars, smiling, portrait

Source: Dave Nagel / Getty

The IRS is warning consumers of a new email and phone scam this tax season, with a 400% surge in phishing and malware incidents. Emails are designed to trick tax payers into thinking they are official communications from the IRS, tax software companies or others in the tax industry.

The messages typically ask for data related to tax refunds, filing status, or seek confirmation of personal information, including ordering IRS transcripts or verification of IRS Personal Identification Numbers. The scammers tell victims they must immediately pay money owed the government via credit card, pre-loaded credit card or wire transfer, or risk arrest.

If you receive a call and you know you don’t owe any money to the IRS, hang up and contact the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 800-366-4484 and contact the Federal Trade Commission.

Also, tax professionals have reported being targeted by similar phishing scams that seek their online credentials to IRS services.

If you get a phone call from someone claiming to be from the IRS and you’re not sure and you have a legitimate tax issue outstanding, call the IRS at 1.800.829.1040

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